Then just one day a friend informed him about Wim Hof—“I think anyone is aware of who Wim Hof is at this stage,” Olson tells me. For people, like me, who didn’t: Wim Hof, a.k.a. the Iceman, is a Dutch man who hangs out even though primarily nude on icebergs, performs guitar, operates marathons barefoot in the snow, and swims in frigid waters. Hof believes that you can educate your self to control your physique by means of respiration in purchase to suppress discomfort, fortify your immune system, and elevate your temper. The Wim Hof strategy brings together respiratory routines with publicity to chilly, generally in the variety of icy showers. “It’s all about managing your coronary heart rate with your breath and possessing them sync,” Olson suggests. “It’s so chilly that you have nothing to focus on but that one factor. You will find no other believed. Which I assume is truly the most difficult matter with meditation.” Olson completed two Wim Hof courses on the internet but skipped a last lesson: “Like, go stroll in the snow in the mountains. I’m like, Who the fuck has that? I signify, yeah, we have snow, but I will not have a fucking chilly spring that I can bounce into.”
Wim Hof extra new proportions to Olson’s yoga practice—which he experienced been only carrying out on and off—and it was also a starting off point on a journey by means of distinctive realms of Eastern spirituality and meditation. He did nauli kriya, a belly-contorting breathing apply that is intended to squeeze your organs to “rinse them out.” He practiced kundalini yoga, an intensive style that incorporates seated meditation with extended, melodic chanted mantras and dynamic actions. That got him into Holotropic Breathwork, a 60-moment series of pressured exhalations with out pause. “I’ve fully hallucinated performing Holotropic,” Olson states. “I know when you listen to that you’re like, All right, bullshit. But you hyperventilate for 15 minutes, fundamentally. I was looking at shades and I was unquestionably like, I am not the place I am intended to be.”
Wherever Olson is headed with all of this—beyond a lengthier, additional effective skate job and browsing more quickly waves—is anyone’s guess. There is no stop to this journey for him. He describes it like relocating out of your parents’ household: You uncover a home. You begin to fill it with your personal furniture—your own tips about how to be in the entire world. “It’s just in which you place your intentions,” he says.
These days his early morning apply is devoted to yoga, respiratory, and meditation, which can take about two hours. What strikes me most about Olson’s often evolving program is his capability for learning and trusting new matters. “I imagine it’s just staying form of open,” he tells me. “Like Bruce Lee suggests, ‘Be like water.’ You know what I suggest? You can get any kind if you pour you into it.”
Noah Johnson is GQ’s model editor.
A model of this tale initially appeared in the February 2020 concern with the title “The Radical Wellness of Pro Skater Alex Olson.”
Pictures by Daniel King
Styled by Jon Tietz
Grooming by Rachel Leidig
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